Review: The SpongeBob Musical, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Rachel, Seren and Thomas Howells travel to Bikini Bottom AKA Wales Millennium Centre’s Donald Gordon Theatre to see The SpongeBob Musical.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea and is the hottest star on Wales Millennium Centre’s stage this week? SpongeBob Squarepants, that’s who!  It has been a long wait for The SpongeBob Musical to come to the UK and I can say that this performance didn’t disappoint.

When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save the fate of their undersea world!

The set is extremely well designed, the animated look bringing personality to the musical, the small screens added to this, especially when they included puns like 10 Drowning Street.  One important element is the creation of the underwater volcano as a mound of discarded plastic bottles, subtly bringing environmental issues to the back of your mind as you watch the show.

Incredibly energetic choreography is utilised to great effect bringing The SpongeBob Musical to life and creating an authentic cartoony feel. There is also a good translation of the character designs from the show to the musical, especially SpongeBob’s white shirt replaced with a sponge designed shirt and his glasses.

The SpongeBob Musical features a versatile ensemble cast that play so many roles and are essential in keeping the action moving along.

Lewis Cornay’s portrayal of SpongeBob Squarepants is exquisite, capturing the characters sweetness while singing in multiple styles and retaining the SpongeBob twang in his voice is quite a ability.  Cornay also displays a great rapport with Irfan Damani’s Patrick Star, which is particularly evident on the song BFF together.

Sarah Freer steals our hearts with her portrayal of Pearl Krabbs, wowing the audience with both enthusiasm and a beautiful singing voice, while Gareth Gates demonstrates a seen to be believed tap dancing routine like no other as Squidward Q Tentacles.  

One of the little touches that added so much to the musical was the little gestures and sound like the animation would have.  This really enhanced certain things, for example, Mr Krabbs’ crab walking or when Gary the snail was on stage.

The soundtrack of The SpongeBob Musical is filled with fabulous original songs from the likes of Sara Bareilles, Lady A, Panic! At The Disco, Plain White T’s and They Might Be Giants.   We loved how they included the band into the musical and giving them their own highlights throughout.

The SpongeBob Musical is certain to delight SpongeBob fans old and new, including those of us who loved the cartoon series as children, after all, what’s the point of being a grown up if you can’t be childish occasionally?

The SpongeBob Musical continues at Wales Millennium Centre until June 10. For ticket details visit the Wales Millennium Centre website.

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